Professional development at St Nicholas Early Education: learning the hundred languages
On Wednesday 3 May, Teachers and Educators from St Nicholas Newcastle West and Singleton had our annual professional development day. We all made our way to the lovely Crowne Plaza in the Hunter Valley for our training in Reggio Emilia.
Reggio Emilia is a town in Northern Italy where, after the end of World War II, a new approach to learning was developed. The Reggio Emilia approach is innovative and inspiring, valuing the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. Children brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it.
The training was presented by Kirsty Liljegren, Kirsty is a committee member of the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange (REAIE) and has undertaken two study tours to Reggio Emilia, together with visits to the Forest Schools in Denmark and the Nature Kindergartens in Scotland. Kirsty was particularly passionate about the all-important question: how do we as educators enable children to flourish? Over the course of the day, we were all engaged, motivated and challenged by Kirsty, and she certainly had us thinking about how we would adapt these concepts and ideas into our own teaching practices.
Something that stood out for me was ‘The hundred languages of children’ by the founder of The Reggio Emilia approach, Loris Malaguzzi. The hundred languages are the endless number of children’s potentials, their ability to wonder and to inquire. The hundred languages remind us that there are multiple ways of seeing and multiple ways of being. Children can explain so much about what they know in an infinite number of ways, as I am sure you are aware! The staff across both Newcastle West and Singleton are looking forward to embedding some new ideas in our classrooms and across each centre as a whole.